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Ryan Preece Survives Texas, Scores Second Straight Top-15 Finish

Ryan Preece

Ryan Preece heads into turn one at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo: Sean Folsom | The Podium Finish)

FORT WORTH, Texas — With rumors and uncertainty surrounding his race team, Ryan Preece and the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing team have dealt with things in a way they know best — putting their heads down and going to work.

After a wild 276-lap war of attrition at Texas Motor Speedway, Preece brought his Ford home to a 12th-place finish in Sunday’s AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400.

The run is his second straight top-15 finish, following a ninth-place run last week at Martinsville.

“We just needed a little bit more grip,” Preece said. “And track position would have helped.”

Preece spent his Saturday media availability fielding questions about rumors of Stewart-Haas Racing looking to potentially sell off a charter. The team’s future with Ford has been in question for years, and only increased with Front Row Motorsports’ new contract with the blue ovals.

Preece made it clear that all he can control is his performance on the track, as he took off Sunday from the outside of the 13th row.

Although Preece didn’t score any stage points in the race, a myriad of cautions created the opportunity for different strategies.

Track position proved to be a top priority, as the constant change allowed for drivers like Todd Gilliland and Harrison Burton to spend some time out front that they otherwise likely would not have seen.

Ryna Preece

Ryan Preece ran as high as second thanks to pit strategy. (Photo: Dylan Nadwodny | The Podium Finish)

Preece’s average run position on Sunday was 17th, but he got to as high as second through the strategy.

A grand total of 16 cautions slowed the race down. Notably, Preece was involved in an incident when he got into the back of Ryan Blaney’s No. 12 car in Turns 1 and 2, sending the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion into the wall, ultimately finishing eight laps down.

Later in the race, Preece found himself battling for a second-consecutive top-10 finish on several restarts against two-time champions Kyle Busch and Joey Logano.

However, Preece came up two spots short in a finish that ended under caution.

“I wish the cautions had worked out differently.” the Berlin, Connecticut, native said. “Once we had the 8 and 22 behind us, it was a struggle not to keep getting put three-wide. Having as old tires as we did, it was trying to protect all you can.”

Preece sits 24th in the points standings after the ninth race of the NASCAR Cup Series season. However, his back-to-back top-15s are his first since last October at Talladega and the Charlotte Roval.

The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Talladega next week, where Preece will look to have a repeat performance and make it three in a row.

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